DECATUR UTILITIES
1002 Central Parkway SW
PO Box 2232
Decatur, AL 35609
 
Report utility service interruptions:
Call 256-552-1400
 
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FAQS

 

Click the topics below to jump to FAQs about a particular Decatur Utilities service:

 


General FAQs
What are your hours of operation?
Lobby hours are 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and drive-through hours are 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. weekdays, except holidays.

 

How do I report a street light problem?
Call Customer Service at (256) 552-1400 and give us the location of the light, the pole number (if available) and tell us if the light is cycling on and off, burns all the time or is out.

 

Where do I call for utilities line location before I dig?
Call 811. Digging in unmarked ground is very dangerous, so please call 811 to have utility lines marked, free of charge. So dig safely, call 811. 
 
Who do I contact about Garbage services?
For garbage questions, call (256) 341-4740 or click here to visit the City of Decatur's website.
For recycling questions, call (256) 341-4770 or click here to visit the City of Decatur's website.



Natural Gas
What areas does Decatur Utilities serve with natural gas?
DU serves natural gas in almost all of the city limits of Decatur, as well as certain areas just outside the city limits including Modaus Road, parts of Old Moulton Road and West Chapel Hill Road and certain areas along Highway 20 in Lawrence County.

 

How does a potential customer get natural gas service from Decatur Utilities?
A customer must first hire a gas fitter/plumber who holds a license from the Alabama Plumbers & Gas Fitters Examining Board to install their appliances or heaters. State law requires any gas appliance installation be completed by a state-licensed gas fitter. The gas fitter must then purchase a gas permit from the City of Decatur Building Department. The building department inspectors are responsible for all inspections of gas appliance installations to make sure it meets all safety codes and requirements.

 

DU receives copies of all gas permits issued by the Building Department. The gas fitter will need to contact DU when he is ready for DU to install the gas service. DU will send out a crew to install the gas service from the gas main to the meter location at the building wall. After the final safety inspection is passed by the Building Department, DU representatives will set the gas meter and unlock the gas valve, making the service available to the customer.

 

Are there any charges for natural gas service?
For a house on an existing DU natural gas main, there is no charge for the first 300 feet of service line. For service length over 300 feet, DU charges $1.00 per foot for each over 300 feet. For residential customers who desire 2 psi gas delivery pressure, there is a charge of $100. If a customer is a DU water-only customer adding gas, there may be an additional deposit charged.

 

Why are fireplace logs so popular?
An instant, roaring fire with no logs to carry or mess to clean up; that’s what makes gas logs a joy to own without polluting the air like a wood burning fire.

 

How often should I have my heating system checked?
Homeowners should have their furnace or central heating system inspected annually. When heating systems are properly adjusted, the by-product of combustion is water vapor and carbon dioxide-the same things we exhale as we breathe. When a heating system powered by a fossil fuel gets out of adjustment and the system isn’t operating properly, carbon monoxide may be produced. An annual check-up of your heating system by a qualified professional ensures it is operating safely and efficiently with the proper mix of fuel to air.

 

What should I do if I smell gas?
Natural gas has no odor of its own, so gas companies add an odorant as a safety precaution. The distinctive odor intentionally smells so bad to immediately signal a possible gas leak.
  • Don’t turn on a light.
  • Don’t switch on anything electrical.
  • Don’t light a match.
  • Don’t use your phone.
  • Alert others and leave immediately
  • Call us from your neighbor’s house or another location.
  • Tell us where you are so you can let us in your house when we arrive.
  • Most gas leaks are small and aren’t usually dangerous, but don’t try to judge for yourself if a leak is dangerous or not.



Power Restoration
What should I do if my power goes off?
First check your circuit breakers or fuses. Reset your main breaker by turning it off and back on. If your power is still out, check outside around your meter to verify that it is not damaged and check for fallen trees. Stay away from all downed wires. Do not step in nearby puddles or attempt to move any object that comes in contact with a wire. Do not attempt to move downed power lines. Please call Decatur Utilities at (256) 552-1400. Turn off air conditioners and large appliances and wait approximately 10 to 15 minutes after service is restored to turn back on these appliances.

 

Does Decatur Utilities know when I have lost power?
When substations or transmission lines are affected, DU will know that your power is out. Your situation may not be related to a large outage and may be an isolated case. In any event, please call us at (256) 552-1400. Our goal is to restore your power as quickly as possible.

 

Who do I call if a tree falls on or near a power line?
Call DU immediately. Electric lines may be within the downed tree and could cause electrocution. Stay clear of any downed trees. If trees have pulled the service away from your house, repairs must be made by a qualified electrician before service can be restored. In this event, an inspection by the Decatur Building Department is required before we can restore service.

 

How can I tell if a downed line is still carrying electricity?
Your safety is the first priority. Always assume any downed line is hot and electrocution is a real danger. Do not allow children or anyone around downed power lines or other cables and call us immediately. Also stay clear of chain link fences which may be energized if touching a downed line.

 

What are DU’s priorities when restoring power?
Severe storms, high wind, lightning and other extreme weather conditions can result in major damage to the electrical system and a significant number of customers can be without power. Decatur Utilities has crews that will work around the clock until all power is restored. Hospitals, police, fire and other public health and rescue facilities are our first priority. First repairs are made to the transmission lines that feed our various substations. If necessary, repairs are made to substations and distribution lines that supply power to homes, businesses and industrial customers. Crews will then repair damage to tap lines that branch off to neighborhoods. Power is then restored to pockets of customers and individual homes. We encourage you to stay away from areas where crews are working. If driving, follow road signs and drive cautiously.

 

What if I have special medical needs?
If you or a family member relies on an electrical life-sustaining medical device in your home, call us to make sure we are aware of the situation. It is necessary for us to know that there is someone in your home whose life may be in danger if power is not promptly restored. In some cases, severe storms can damage our electrical system so badly that it may take days to repair. If you depend on electricity, it is important to have an emergency back-up plan in place for your peace of mind and the safety of your family. For more information please call (256) 552-1400.

 

When will power be restored?
This is a critical question for all of us and it can be extremely difficult to pinpoint an exact time. Homes, businesses and industrial plants all need power to operate. We know it is very frustrating for your power to be out. In most cases, electrical service can be restored in a matter of hours, but circumstances do happen where service may be out for several days. In these cases, we have crews working around the clock until power is restored. Decatur Utilities will utilize all personnel available and will seek assistance from neighboring utilities until the emergency has ended and service is restored.

 

What should I do if I cannot contact Decatur Utilities?
Our phones are answered by our Customer Service Department and our Dispatch Center. In major outages, employees are called in to help answer calls; however, due to the number of calls, it may not be possible for us to answer every call. Please wait a few minutes and call us again until you are successful. Be assured your call is important to us and it is best not to assume that we know your power is out. Please note that sending us an e-mail or calling a different number is not the most efficient way to contact us.

 

Why would a Decatur Utilities truck pass my house without stopping to restore my power?
This is a common question and there may be several reasons. Your outage may be related to a larger outage and crews are searching the area to determine the reason for the outage. There may be trees, lines or poles down and these must be repaired before your service can be restored. Stopping a crew to ask questions or make a special request may only slow down restoration. The truck you see may be an engineer or employee that may be looking for other causes of trouble such as gas or water leaks or sewer overflows.

 

How long will food keep in my freezer or refrigerator if the power goes out?
A fully stocked freezer will keep food for approximately 2 days. If the freezer is one-half full, estimate 1 day. Generally an unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately 4 hours. After the power is restored, check the temperature in the refrigerator. The temperature should be at or below 40 degrees and the freezer should be around zero degrees. If you have any concerns regarding the safety of food, it is best to discard.

 

Do some customers get preferential treatment during an outage?
The answer is no. We repair damage that will restore power to the greatest number of customers in the least amount of time.

 

Will my account with Decatur Utilities be credited for the time that my power was out?
Decatur Utilities will only charge you for the electricity that you use. This is not like the other services where you pay a set monthly fee.



Water
I bought a new appliance, and it says to check my water hardness.
Calcium and magnesium are minerals in the water, and are the source of hardness. Decatur’s hardness levels are typically in the range of 70 mg/l (4 grains/gallon) or Slightly Hard. You should not have to use extra detergent in your appliance.

 

How do I check my water quality?
Decatur Utilities has excellent water quality. Click here to check out our annual Consumer Confidence Report. If you believe there is a problem at your home, we can also do basic testing on site. Contact one our Customer Service Representatives to schedule a visit. You can also utilize a private laboratory.

 

I noticed a leak or problem with my water service – what should I do?
Please report any service problems to our main number (256) 552-1400. We have representatives on call around the clock.



Wastewater
I have a service problem, what should I do?
For slow drains, stoppages, overflows or other service problems, please contact us at (256) 552-1400. We will have a service technician evaluate the problem, and let you know what was found. By calling us first, you may not have to make that call to a plumber.

 

How can I avoid sewer charges when I water the lawn?
Decatur Utilities offers the option of installing a water meter dedicated to lawn irrigation, and it does not have sewer charges. We also have the summertime cap on wastewater charges for our residential customers.